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I can comment on why I am not doing Acrostics. It's almost impossible to get it printed out in large enough type that I can read it. Old age. Then, even if I just get a Kleenex box and go ahead, wiping my strained eyes, I get tangled up with the task of entering the letter in the right spot. It's hard to find someone more lop-sided than I, in terms of brain function. The feats of construction represented are admirable, and the 'decoding' aspect of figuring out the quote are fun, yet overall I gave up doing these.
The cryptics? Mind-bending. I need more frustration like I need another hole in my head... Actually, I need more time to quilt, and something has to take a back seat.
Diagramless? There are those of us whose spatial skills (see brain function, above) make finding left and right challenge enough.
It's not because these aren't great puzzles--and obviously other people would give you different answers for 'why not?' but these are my reasons.
Enjoyed your post!

Joe Krozel

Thanks for all the kind words, Jim. I like to push the crossword art form in many different ways, and the recordable ones are perhaps the most obvious. (Thanks for tracking it all; you're keeping the art form alive and evolving that way).

My focus is always on giving solvers something they hadn't expected... and not all of it so noticeable: I hope to continue contributing novel puzzle entries -- which you also record -- though there's no way for the audience to know which ones were totally fresh contributions: Some entries appeared in other publications before; Some already exist in our shared word list; But a few were invented by the constructor on the spot ... or tucked away for use as seed entries. These latter ones are the ones that really delight. (And when truly new entries appear ALL constructors get to add them to their own word lists!) At any rate, a new tracking challenge for you perhaps?

While we're applauding constructor efforts, let me point out one for contributing the most truly fresh puzzle entries: David Quarfoot. The new stuff he comes up with has truly never been used anywhere before. PPPPPP comes to mind.

By the way, my favorite grid from a fellow constructor this year: The Tetris-inspired (pentomino) one; the kind of grid that makes me slap my head and say "I should've thought of that!"

Patrick Blindauer

Nice write-up. Jim. Thanks for the year in review!

andrea carla michaels

Oh, this is fun! Thanks, Jim! And thanks, Patrick, for linking to it! By the way, the pangram record is a surprise to me as I don't make them intentionally, but love when they happen!
I live for the Rathvon/Cox Acrostics and glad they are at odd enough intervals that I can have other things go on with my life.
And what David Steinberg has accomplished in his short lifetime is astonishing.
Thank you for the database, I check it ALL the time and I love seeing what you've done. And I particularly appreciate that you started counting collaborations as well as solo efforts! ;) Happy new Year!!!

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